Monday, October 1, 2012

Quite possibly the best soup ever: Italian Sausage & Tortellini Soup

I love food. However, the rest of my family loves only certain foods. This makes planning dinners a challenge. Sometimes, I just make what I love and if they don't like it, they make something else. When Justin was gone, I would make this soup a lot and bring the leftovers to work for lunch, where I was always asked by others for the recipe. Recently, I made it again and had to leave for back-to-school-night at Dylan's school, leaving the guys to serve it themselves. I was amazed to come home and find the pot almost empty, originally thinking they would hate it and make something else. This story attests to the popularity of this soup; make it today!

Now I will provide instructions along with illustrative pictures of my hand dumping the ingredients into the pot. Hooray!

First, brown 1 lb. of sausage in a pot with a little bit of olive oil, casings of the sausage removed. I used chicken sausage with cheese that required slicing (i.e., would not crumble) and have used crumbly sausage in the past. Either way works well.

Next, remove the sausage and set aside. Add in 2 cloves minced garlic, and 1 cup diced onion, give or take. Saute until the onion is translucent and the garlic, fragrant.

Now add the liquids to create the broth. Pour in 5 cups beef broth, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 cup red wine (delicious). Also, pour yourself a glass of the red wine and partake.

This is the kind I used- I'm in no way a wine connoisseur but it turned out well! 

 At this point, also add in your veggies: either 4 large tomatoes chopped or 1 1/2 to 2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes (I used a combination)...

1 cup of sliced carrots (I had previously sliced and froze mine, hence the frozen look)...

an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce...

and now your seasonings: 1/2 tablespoon chopped up FRESH (I promise you, sub out anything else you want, but you will be so much happier with fresh) basil leaves...

 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano...

and then add your sausage back in there. Bring to a rolling boil, then lower the heat to low-medium and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

 When the 30 minutes is up, add in some fresh parsley. Mine is frozen into ice cubes since my fresh parsley always goes bad before I use it up, so I started chopping it all and freezing it with water into ice cube trays a la Pinterest idea (here).

Place a lid on the soup (if you liked it then you would'a put a lid on it.. oh oh oh, oh oh oh) (does anyone else's brain function this way?) and simmer for another 20 minutes.

 At this point, I like to put a store-bought french loaf of bread in the oven. I highly recommend serving with a crusty bread for dipping because the broth is to. die. for.

Add in 1 package tortellini and continue to simmer for the final 10 minutes.

And voila: finished soup!

Sloppy picture and bowl because I wanted to eat the soup. Now.

Italian Sausage & Tortellini Soup
Recipe adapted from
Serves: 6-8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Ready to eat in: 1 hour, 35 minutes


  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 pound sausage (I use Italian chicken sausage), casings removed if needed
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups beef broth (I use low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced or 2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh (or frozen) parsley
  • 1 package tortellini
  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown sausage in olive oil. Remove sausage from pot and set aside, to be added later. 
  2. Saute onion and garlic in same pot with remaining olive oil, until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant. 
  3. Stir in beef broth, water, red wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano and tomato sauce. Add sausage back in. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  4. Stir in parsley, and simmer covered for additional 20 minutes. 
  5. Add tortellini, and simmer covered for final 10 minutes. 
  6. Serve with crusty bread. 

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